Home Education Is a “Public Function” Monopoly, Who Knew?

7 06 2007

Conservative evangelical men and their modestly dressed and coiffed helpmeets mean to save us from Harry Potter, sex, divorce, and most choice and autonomy in a decadent culture, oh, and from virtual charters and hell of course.

Liberal, feminist, childless women call themselves our champions and defenders too, demand choice and equity in our name but define it as artificial institutional and governmental controls over actual women and our children (because we are homeschoolers, doncha know — if we weren’t, we could be at the controls with them, calling the shots for all the other women.)

Amanda Marcotte kicked off this summer’s definition games from the liberal extreme (Mean Girls Who Rule the School With a Phalanx of Gal Pals needn’t be over at Gena’s HSB beating babies with Bibles) and now a CA lawyer with a grant (childlesss herself, I’ll bet) picks up the infuriating (and poorly argued imo — but then what do I know, I’m oppressed and clutching the chains that bind me) theme in the grand tradition of Rob Reich and Michael Apple.

If public education is the best way to build liberal community and further democratic values (like personal liberty from government?) then why doesn’t society enjoy gender equity and autonomy by now, for all women and children? Compulsory schooling of “liberal” social values has had more than 50 years to make it so. How much more money and time must generations of taxpayers invest to finally get these fabulous benefits?

I once bought into public education as progressive and children as FTEs (when I was young and childless and vested in the public schools) but I’ve learned a lot since then. I never stopped thinking and exploring and analyzing, or being a feminist and raising my son and daughter to be, for that matter. But I see no willingness to even acknowledge that question among young feminism.

That’s disheartening for an old feminist like me — wouldn’t an intellectually curious, liberal and independent mind have noticed that and wondered by now, if just maybe public education might be liberal problem rather than liberal panacea? Or at least realize it’s likely both, with standardization and government compulsion being its least liberal construct if not its fatal flaw?

You’d think educated, socially valuable and politically empowered young feminism would be eagerly tackling these questions, in the name of sharing their social progress and liberty for all women and children, rather than tilting at homeschool mom windmills? You would be wrong. (Don’t ask me to explain this, I’m just unpaid domestic labor not even getting a welfare check from the government much less a corporate paycheck, what could I possibly know?)

COD and Daryl are on the case and Scott has been summoned. More later. Looks like this is gonna be another long, hot summer of skirmishes in the Involuntary Redefinition of Other Women Wars.



18 responses

7 06 2007

From a comment I made in Liza’s thread at CK:

. . .it can’t ever be simple; there are political implications behind every line drawn and re-definition rendered, make no mistake. Sure, it’s just a new political frame but we’re still the ones being framed.

The folks trying to define homeschool moms as unpaid labor due a paycheck from the government may not buy it, and whoo-boy, won’t it make the folks trying to define us into or out of their agenda from the conservative extreme crazy, LOL — all that about blurring lines between in-school and out-of-school!

7 06 2007

I feel like a teenage punk rocker again, LOL. Labels are for soup cans!!!!! RAWR!!!!

7 06 2007

Nance sent me to read this “law professors” blog and it was worth it, the comments particularly.

It gives me some comfort, that there are still really bright folks figuring stuff out and speaking about complex issues the way I tend to, instead of just repetitively spouting their own simplistic agenda as incontrovertible truth and twisting reality to fit as needed.

8 06 2007

It IS encouraging when people really think hard about things! 🙂


8 06 2007

Now we’ll see what Scott thinks of hsing as a public function we carry out for the State — what I want to know is exactly how that could be “legally” propped up, since schools function under the doctrine of “in loco parentis” (standing in for the PARENT) in the first place??

8 06 2007
Reluctantly Thinking About Politics « Home Schooled

[…] here is something that cheers me up. Cocking a Snook had a couple of posts on these issues yesterday and pointed to a great discussion of the political side of […]

8 06 2007

Hurray, Rolfe! Welcome to the cause, and to the ranks of Thinking Parents everywhere:

But here is something that cheers me up. Cocking a Snook had a couple of posts on these issues yesterday and pointed to a great discussion of the political side of homeschooling. I’ve only made it halfway through, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a careful, truth-seeking, and rational discussion about any sort of politics before. Much less on the internet. Yes, it is a group of people with common goals. But they don’t all agree and they aren’t just patting themselves on the back. They are thinking.
I have a lot to learn. I am realizing that so many of the rough thoughts I’ve been having have been thought before, and argued, and refined. By thinking people. I am so happy to see thinking, truth-seeking people, even when they disagree with me! So I think I’ll be reading more and talking less for a little while when it comes to politics. I have a lot of other things I want to write about anyway…

8 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

Thanks for the welcome! I’m not much of a joiner, but these are ranks I’ll gladly join.

9 06 2007

I really liked this blogger’s list of reasons why she is not exploited and doesn’t need to be fought for by misguided feminists trying to liberate her.
Here’s the last bit but read it all when you can, maybe print it up on little cards to give to strangers who grab you in public and try to pull you to “safety!”

I could go on and on but I won’t. What I’m saying is

* I homeschool because I value my freedom more than a paycheck.
* I’ve never seen homeschooling as a means of restricting my life or holding me back as a woman.
* My life is a lot more fulfilling now than when I had a paying job.
* I value some things more than being able to afford a $400 pair of shoes.
* I don’t see my children as chores. The laundry is a chore. That’s why my husband does the majority of that.

9 06 2007

* I don’t see my children as chores. The laundry is a chore. That’s why my husband does the majority of that.

This reminds me of what my DH was doing when I first read the article on homeschooling as unpaid labor. He was scraping and scrubbing grout in the family shower.

It’s almost like we live here together, sharing the chores, enjoying our children, doing what needs to be done without counting up points on either side.

What a concept! 🙂


9 06 2007


Another great blog I have to bookmark.

Hi Rolfe! 🙂


9 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

Hi Nance — I’ll try to keep things interesting for you! 🙂

And that is a great list JJ. I’ll hang out with the kids rather than clean the house any day. Our house is a little messy.

13 07 2007
And what’s in the phrase “parent involvement”? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] 2007 Here’s an argument I find even more convoluted than the feminist flap last month over young childless bloggers so earnestly trying to help stay-at-homeschool moms by calling us unpaid do… […]

10 08 2007
Blog for Choice — in All Things! « Cocking A Snook!

[…] to be “pro-choice” while opposing marriage choice (and school choice — see rants like this one) put me in mind of Thinking Homeschoolers comparing marriage choice with education choice, during […]

6 09 2007
Sad but true, gifted kids like horses are looked in the mouth « Cocking A Snook!

[…] wicked when it resorts to bringing down the top, rather than lifting up the bottom. Kinda like working, childless young feminism would subjugate SAHMs and homeschoolers to set us “free&#822… to march in step with their agenda “for” us — there’s a lesson in public […]

1 02 2008
Apple and Reich are SQUELCHERS, Oh My! « Cocking A Snook!

[…] desiring to be left out of their Grand Plan for Global Domination, whether megalomaniacal men are liberal or conservative or communist or fascist, atheist or Southern Baptist or Jewish or Mormon or Muslim […]

14 03 2008
WHO Is Dr. Seuss and What Should His Story Teach Kids? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] storyline by heart, sigh. We are overprotective, stunting our kids and sacrificing ourselves, when we really should go out and get a job, contribute to the economy, just let the Village raise the kid… (to be Village Idiots, I suppose). . […]

29 03 2008
Valerie, Rob Reich, NPR and THE Conversation « Cocking A Snook!

[…] “specific disability” in individuals, or generalized social welfare — it’s still the same education conversation: . . .it seems as if some of the controversy about homeschooling (if not all of it) comes down to […]

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